The first relationship that little girls will form with a member of the opposite sex is the one that they have with their father. This relationship is also one of the most influential and important of a young girl’s life, as it often shapes the ones she builds with other boys and men as she ages. Here are 10 of the reasons why all fathers should have date nights with their daughters, starting when they’re very young and continuing as they get older.
- To Get to Know Them – Children change and evolve quickly; their interests and favorite things can differ wildly from one day to the next. Keeping up with these rapid shifts can be difficult for fathers who aren’t actively participating in their daughters’ lives with regular one-on-one time.
- To Keep Up With Events and Developments – While the latest playground news or mall gossip might not be the most interesting thing for a father to listen to, it’s a great way to keep up with the things that matter in his daughter’s life. By listening to the little events and exciting moments, dads can help their daughters understand how valued they are.
- Because They Have Siblings – When little girls are forced to share their parents’ attention with their siblings, feelings of jealousy and rumblings of rivalry can begin. By making the effort to spend time with each child individually, dads can make their daughters feel as if they are the center of the universe for a little while, which is something that every child needs from time to time.
- Because They’re Only Children – Little girls without siblings may not ever fully understand the jealousy that comes with being forced to share Daddy’s attention, but they still need some just-the-two-of-us time away from the distractions of everyday life.
- To Form Positive Ideas About Men and Relationships – The relationship a girl has with her father will lay the groundwork for every relationship she has with men for the rest of her life. By taking the time to ensure that there’s a strong foundation, fathers can also ensure that their daughters never feel as if they need to seek validation from men that they feel they missed from their father as they move into adulthood.
- To Give Mom a Break – When it comes to parenting girls, mothers often bear the brunt of training a little girl to be a strong woman, while fathers are free to dote on them a bit more. By taking girls on outings, dads can give Mom a much-needed break while also boosting his daughter’s self-esteem
- Starting a Tradition – By beginning a tradition of spending time together and talking openly during a girl’s formative years, dads are actually investing in the future. Establishing a line of communication during childhood can help teenage girls feel comfortable talking about the pressures and challenges they face as they grow older; building this relationship after a certain age is significantly more difficult than it is when girls are small.
- Because Dad Works Outside the Home – Fathers who work long hours outside the home may not return until late in the evening on work nights, leaving little time for bonding during the week. By setting aside a block of time specifically to be spent with their daughters on days off, dads can maintain an active presence in their lives.
- Because Dads Need Love, Too – As much as little girls need to feel loved and valued by their fathers, dads crave affection and camaraderie with their daughters too. Though date night is a strong investment in a girl’s future, it offers immediate rewards for dads who need to know that they’re still the most important man in their daughter’s life.
- To Bond Over a Shared Interest – During the course of their outings, dads and daughters are likely to discover that they have at least one common interest. By spending time pursuing these hobbies together, fathers and daughters are also creating a bond that will last a lifetime.
Structuring one-on-one time doesn’t have to be modeled after a parenting textbook; instead, find a system that works for your family and establish your own traditions.
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